I was hoping to post up a blog this morning that listed the 5 bestselling titles in each series, in response to a forum post that was posted up a few days ago. I am sad to say that instead of writing that post I have been forced to discuss the future of the Osprey forum and write this blog to inform you of the imminent demise of the forum.
Over the last couple of months our forum has been blighted by a series of distasteful encounters which have escalated over the last few days. The posting of threads designed to get a negative response from the bulk of our forum users, trolling, sock puppetry, spam and abuse has grown and reached a climax this week. Last night I was forced to step in to moderate a number of forum posts which contained some vile racial slurs.
Even as I removed these posts a number of sock puppet accounts popped up supplying the usual array of mindless trolling. These were also removed. This prompted a personal attack on myself by an individual on the forum, which culminated in the threat of physical violence against myself. Combined with the fact that in the last week I have been impersonated on the forum by someone claiming to be me and the need for me to work until very late last night to protect other members of the forum from abuse I find myself in a position where the forum is no longer a viable tool on the Osprey site.
Sadly, over the last couple of months I have been the loudest voice arguing for the retention of the Osprey forum as it currently stands, and even louder in my assertions that an 'approval first' system would effectively kill the forum – but it looks like that decision has now been taken out of my hands, and even if the decision was wholly mine – I no longer believe the current state of the forum is of any benefit to our organization, and in fact risks becoming detrimental.
As is so often the case, the current situation is down to a couple of bad eggs, and the vast majority of forum users remain loyal, enthusiastic and remarkably polite fans. It has been an honour to get to know you (as much is possible through forum postings etc) over the last few years. It is a great shame that a service and community that has proved so popular and involving for so many people is being destroyed by just a handful of individuals. But, Osprey as a company will never accept derogatory comments, threats against staff or slanderous impersonations of their employees. We intend to pursue these offenses to the full extent.
A number of you have asked if there is any way to block these individuals from gaining access to our site. The answer is that there are, but this is really only a temporary solution – and these troublemakers will inevitably find a way to gain access in one way or another. The upshot of this is that the Osprey forum is now poised on a precipice – and its permanent closure seems unavoidable.
Rather than just shut it down immediately, we are offering one final chance for a reprieve – however, if there is any re-emergence of any of these issues in the coming months the forum will be taken offline immediately.
Thanks again to all of the forum members who have supported the Osprey forum so well. It is a terrible shame that we stand on the brink of losing such an enjoyable place to chat about all things Osprey.
And finally, to the individual who threatened to 'slap my skinny ass' - I am so touched that you noticed how much weight I have lost this year – I have been on a big exercise kick and the diet is obviously paying off. Thanks for the compliment.
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